U.S. v. Pungitore, 89-1371

CourtUnited States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (3rd Circuit)
Citation910 F.2d 1084
Docket NumberNo. 89-1396,No. 89-1409,No. 89-1404,No. 89-1372,No. 89-1401,No. 89-1397,No. 89-1371,No. 89-1395,No. 89-1393,Nos. 89-1371,No. 89-1402,No. 89-1400,No. 89-1446,No. 89-1403,No. 89-1448,89-1371,89-1372,89-1393,89-1395,89-1396,89-1397,89-1400,89-1401,89-1402,89-1403,89-1404,89-1409,89-1446,89-1448,s. 89-1371
Parties, 31 Fed. R. Evid. Serv. 115 UNITED STATES of America v. Anthony PUNGITORE, Jr., Appellant inUNITED STATES of America v. Joseph GRANDE. Appellant inUNITED STATES of America v. Francis IANNARELLA, Jr., Appellant inUNITED STATES of America v. Phillip NARDUCCI. Appellant inUNITED STATES of America v. Salvatore SCAFIDI. Appellant inUNITED STATES of America v. Nicholas VIRGILIO. Appellant inUNITED STATES of America v. Charles IANNECE. Appellant inUNITED STATES of America v. Salvatore Wayne GRANDE. Appellant inUNITED STATES of America v. Joseph PUNGITORE. Appellant inUNITED STATES of America v. Frank NARDUCCI, Jr., Appellant inUNITED STATES of America v. Ralph STAINO, Jr., Appellant inUNITED STATES of America v. Salvatore J. MERLINO. Appellant inUNITED STATES of America v. Nicodemo SCARFO. Appellant inUNITED STATES of America v. Joseph CIANCAGLINI. Appellant into 89-1372, 89-1393, 89-1395 to 89-1397, 89-1400 to 89-1403, 89-1409, 89-1446 and 89-1448. . Argued and Submitted under Third Circuit Rule 12(6)
Decision Date25 April 1990

Page 1096

Michael J. Kelly, Asst. Defender, Defender Ass'n of Philadelphia, Federal Court Div., Philadelphia, Pa., for Anthony Pungitore, Jr.

Willis W. Berry, Jr., Philadelphia, Pa., for Joseph Grande.

Robert E. Madden, Philadelphia, Pa., for Francis Iannarella, Jr.

Stanford Shmukler (argued), Philadelphia, Pa., for Frank Narducci, Jr. and Phillip Narducci.

Christopher G. Furlong, Springfield, Pa., for Salvatore Scafidi.

Stephen P. Patrizio (argued), Dranoff & Patrizio, Philadelphia, Pa., for Nicholas Virgilio.

Louis T. Savino, Jr., Philadelphia, Pa., for Charles Iannece.

Hope C. Lefeber, Philadelphia, Pa., for Salvatore Wayne Grande.

Peter Goldberger (argued), Philadelphia, Pa., for Joseph Pungitore.

M.W. Pinsky, Westmont, N.J., for Ralph Staino, Jr.

Edwin J. Jacobs, Jr., Jacobs & Bruso, PA, Atlantic City, N.J., for Salvatore J. Merlino.

Robert F. Simone, Philadelphia, Pa., Milton E. Grusmark (argued), Miami, Fla., for Nicodemo Scarfo.

Robert E. Welsh, Jr. (argued), Philadelphia, Pa., for Joseph Ciancaglini.

Michael M. Baylson, U.S. Atty., Frank J. Marine (argued), Lead Appellate Atty., U.S. Dept. of Justice, Washington, D.C., Joel M. Friedman, David E. Fritchey, Arnold H. Gordon, Louis R. Pichini, Albert J. Wicks, Asst. U.S. Attys., U.S. Dept. of Justice, Philadelphia Strike Force, Philadelphia, Pa., for the U.S.

Before BECKER, GREENBERG and GARTH, Circuit Judges.

                OPINION OF THE COURT
                GREENBERG, Circuit Judge
                                               TABLE OF CONTENTS
                  I.  INTRODUCTION                                                         1097
                 II.  THE FACTS                                                            1097
                      A.  MURDERS AND ATTEMPTED MURDERS                                    1099
                      B.  ILLEGAL GAMBLING OPERATIONS                                      1101
                      C.  THE SHAKEDOWN OPERATION                                          1102
                III.  DISCUSSION                                                           1102
                      A.  CONSTITUTIONALITY OF THE RICO STATUTE                            1102
                      B.  SUCCESSIVE PROSECUTIONS                                          1105
                          1.  Dual Sovereignty: Successive Prosecutions for the Falcone    1105
                                and Testa Murders
                          2.  Successive Federal Prosecutions of the Rouse Extortion       1107
                          3.  Successive RICO Prosecutions of Joseph Ciancaglini           1112
                      C.  SENTENCING ISSUES                                                1115
                          1.  Consecutive Sentences for RICO Conspiracy and Substantive    1115
                          2.  Consecutive Sentencing of the Narduccis following state      1117
                                life sentences for the D'Alfonso murder
                      D.  PROSECUTORIAL MISCONDUCT                                         1120
                          1.  Improper Prosecutorial Vouching                              1120
                          2.  Other Prosecutorial Misconduct                               1127
                      E.  SUFFICIENCY OF THE EVIDENCE                                      1128
                          1.  Virgilio                                                     1129
                          2.  Ciancaglini                                                  1133
                     F.  CHALLENGES TO THE INDICTMENT                                      1134
                         1.  Alternative Theories on Murder Predicates and Inclusion of    1134
                               Conspiracies as Predicate Acts in RICO Conspiracy Charge
                         2.  Duplicitous Pleading                                          1135
                         3.  Claim of Fatal Variance                                       1136
                     G.  IMPLICATION OF SCARFO'S ATTORNEY IN ROUSE EXTORTION               1137
                         1.  Anthony Pungitore's Claim of Joint Representation             1139
                         2.  Prejudicial Effect on Scarfo's Co  Defendants                  1141
                     H.  CHALLENGES TO THE JURY INSTRUCTIONS                               1144
                         1.  Instructions Regarding Reasonable Doubt                       1144
                         2.  Instructions Regarding RICO and Co  Conspirator Liability      1145
                     I.  EVIDENCE QUESTIONS                                                1148
                         1.  Expert Testimony, Special Agent James Kossler                 1148
                         2.  Reference to D'Alfonso Murder                                 1149
                         3.  Evidence of Iannece's Flight                                  1150
                IV.      CONCLUSION                                                        1152

These consolidated appeals are the latest saga in the government's dismantling of the Philadelphia branch of La Cosa Nostra. Following a ten week trial which concluded on November 19, 1988, in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, appellants, all members of the Nicodemo Scarfo crime family, were found guilty of conspiring to participate and participating in the affairs of an enterprise through a pattern of racketeering activity and, in some cases, through the collection of unlawful debts, in violation of RICO, 18 U.S.C. Secs. 1962(d) and (c). 1

In addition, Joseph Pungitore was convicted of participating in a conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine and Nicodemo Scarfo, Salvatore Merlino, and Joseph Ciancaglini were convicted of possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute it, in violation of 21 U.S.C. Sec. 841(a)(1). 2 Scarfo, Merlino and Joseph Pungitore, also were convicted of engaging in illegal sports bookmaking, in violation of 18 U.S.C. Sec. 1955. Finally, Francis Iannarella, Jr. and Salvatore Scafidi were convicted of conducting an illegal lottery business, in violation of 18 U.S.C. Sec. 1955(b). Appellants filed post trial motions which were denied by the district court. United States v. Scarfo, 711 F.Supp. 1315 (E.D.Pa.1989). These appeals followed.


We are bound, after a jury has delivered a guilty verdict, to interpret the evidence in a light most favorable to the government. With that in mind, we offer the following background facts.

The enterprise involved in this case was part of a nationwide criminal organization commonly known as the Mafia or "La Cosa Nostra." 3 La Cosa Nostra (LCN) is headquartered in New York and headed by a commission of eleven "bosses," who in turn direct the illegal activities of regional organized crime "families." The national scope of the Mafia is demonstrated by the fact that of its eleven bosses five are from New York City and six are from other cities throughout the country. The Mafia seems

Page 1098

to operate a government parallel to that in Washington, although as will be seen changes in its power structure are far more abrupt. Tr. 10/26/88 at 178. The 60 member Scarfo crime family involved here covers Mafia operations in Eastern Pennsylvania and much of New Jersey. Id.

A crime family is a highly structured criminal enterprise with a well defined chain-of-command. At the apex of the family's hierarchy is the "boss," who carries sole authority to approve murders and induct new members into the family. Tr. 10/26/88 at 178. A "consigliere" and "underboss" comprise the next tier in the family's organizational hierarchy. Id. at 178. The consigliere functions as an advisor to the boss and assists in the settlement of disputes among members, while the underboss oversees the family's illegal endeavors when the boss is unavailable and conveys orders to members. Under the consigliere and underboss are the "capos" or "captains," who control "crews" or "regimes" of "soldiers," otherwise known as "made men." The soldiers, in turn, sponsor various "associates," who are best described as criminal colleagues of the family who, for various reasons, have not been formally initiated into its ranks.

The criteria for becoming a member of the Scarfo family are somewhat daunting. To qualify, an aspiring associate must be a male of Italian descent who has participated in a murder pursuant to the boss's order. Tr. 10/10/88 at 80, 90. A primary incentive for joining the family is that the soldier then commands considerable respect from non-Mafia criminals, as his illegal endeavors are backed by "the strength of the Mafia," that is, its well-founded reputation for achieving its objectives through violent means. Tr. at 10/26/88 at 201. Indeed, its members recognize it as "a second government." Id. The soldier also becomes privy to the family's "political" and "union" connections. Id. at 200-01. As Thomas DelGiorno put it, becoming a ranking member of the family means the "difference of being in the major leagues and minor leagues as far as...

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